Short Takes: Legacy’s First Paul Simon Release, James Taylor Goes Gold, and Spector Set Due
With the fall officially underway, we’re now in the busiest time of the year for the music biz, and as this week hits its halfway point, we’re here to offer a few announcements you might have missed.
Audio Fidelity offers on November 2 a 24K Gold CD version of James Taylor’s seminal 1972 album originally released on Warner Bros. Records, One Man Dog. Remastered by audio guru Steve Hoffman, One Man Dog has among its highlights the now-standard “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” One Man Dog joins future Audio Fidelity releases of Stevie Wonder’s Music of My Mind (AFZ100) mastered by Kevin Gray, Billy Joel’s jazz-inflected 52nd Street (AFZ095) mastered by Hoffman, and vinyl versions of Kate Bush’s The Sensual World (AFZLP082) and Harry Nilsson’s Gordon Jenkins-arranged A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (AFZLP083) with both LPs mastered by the Hoffman/Gray team.
Some interesting info arrives courtesy Rolling Stone’s September 30 edition. In David Browne’s article “Back to Mono: Dylan, Doors Reissues Unearth Classic Sound” focusing on the upcoming Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, Browne notes that the success of The Beatles in Mono box “has paved the way for a mono gold rush: the Dylan box, 2011 compilations of Phil Spector and Roy Orbison, and upcoming mono reissues of classic albums by The Doors (The Doors), the Yardbirds (Little Games) and John Mayall (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton).” So perhaps Sony is finally opening those Spector vaults that have lain dormant since last year’s remastered but otherwise-untouched reissue of A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector? (Ironically, though, many Spector fans have been waiting for stereo mixes to hit CD, despite the producer’s legendary preference for mono!)
Finally, thanks to our good friends at MusicTAP for their terrific reportage on a new batch in Sony’s ever-growing line of Essentials, all due October 26. And we’ve found a couple of titles still to report! Just two weeks after the October 12 deluge of Playlist releases, a number of artists will receive Essential volumes. Click on the jump to find out just who receives the Essential treatment this time around!
From the country world, The Essential Charlie Daniels Band is offered, along with The Essential Dixie Chicks and The Essential Highwaymen (the immortal aggregation of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson). For those about to rock, try on for size The Essential Guess Who, The Essential Kansas and The Essential Ted Nugent. (Nugent and Kansas both have Essential 3.0 releases already available, so their inclusion is a bit unexpected.) Two guitar heroes are collected via The Essential Steve Vai and The Essential Joe Satriani. On the softer end of the spectrum, we’re offered The Essential Frank Sinatra (again, a volume already exists for The Voice’s Columbia tenure, but the single disc’s 15 tracks are being expanded to 36 tracks over 2 discs), The Essential Perry Como, The Essential Julio Iglesias and The Essential Billie Holiday.
Aretha Franklin’s Columbia years have already been anthologized with an upgraded Essential (itself a repackaging of Legacy’s The Queen in Waiting set) and Essential 3.0, but a new 40-track set is due on October 26, perhaps drawing not only from the Queen’s pre-Atlantic days at Columbia, but from her post-Atlantic time at Arista, as well. We’ve saved the most interesting for last, as The Essential Paul Simon arrives, with 36 tracks over two discs. This is, of course, the first CD release of Simon’s catalogue back at its original home, Columbia, since Simon turned over the license from Warner Music Group. It’s very likely, though, that this is a merely a straight reissue with new artwork of the first title to bear the name The Essential Paul Simon, Warner Bros.’ 2007 release with the same number of tracks.